Data Privacy and Marketing

Goals

To find examples of ad or sponsorship platforms that advertise to people without collecting their personal information (i.e. personally identifiable information or PII). In otherwords, examples of privacy respecting advertisers. The client would also be interested to know if there is a lack of such advertisers in the market or if none can be found, as this will also be helpful to know. Analyzing the privacy policies of such platforms may be a useful research strategy.

Early Findings

  • There doesn't appear to any ad or sponsorship platforms that collects absolutely zero data about its end users. This appears to be largely due to the fact that such platforms generally ask users for some type of contact information, at the very least, if only for the purposes of logging in or communicating with the company.
  • Despite this, there are some platforms that only collect a minimal amount of data and/or vow now to share or sell the personal data of their users to third-parties. Vero, Raftr and Amino Apps are examples of this.
  • In attempts to answer this request, our team also attempted to locate social media platforms that don't collect any user data at all. No such platform was found. We then attempted to locate digital companies in general that don't collect any user data at all. Again, no such company was found.
  • Likewise, many companies have claimed they don't sell personal user data to third parties, even though they share personal data with third parties for "business purposes". One example of such a company is Zoom.

Steemit

  • Of all the platforms analyzed, Steemit appears to be among the best that fit the criteria. Steemit is a blockchain-based blogging and social media website.
  • Steemit does collect a handful of personal user data, including contact information. However, the company states that they do not share or sell any of this personal information unless the user explicitly agrees to it, or under unique circumstances. Unique circumstances include the company being forced to share the data via a legal subpoena or when the company is selling part of its business as part of a merger, acquisition or business transfer.
  • Steemit has a self-serve advertising platform.

Proposed next steps:

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